Vaping and smoking are not the same
The vast majority of smokers start by sucking through the mouth, and inhale smoke deep into the lungs before exhaling. The intensity of the first pull through the mouth and the time for which smoke is held in the lungs can vary from one smoker to another.
As such, it is not unusual for a smoker accustomed to smoking cigarettes considered to be “strong” and who switches to so-called “light” cigarettes to tend to draw in more substantial puffs, both in terms of intensity and frequency, in order to satisfy their nicotine cravings. For this reason, many experts agree than “light” cigarettes are no less harmful than strong ones.
You simply pull differently depending on the type of cigarette. Light cigarettes can even be more dangerous when the smoker pulls more quickly and more intensely, thereby raising the combustion temperature, and hence producing higher levels of harmful substances.
Tobacco studies experts refer to this phenomenon as self-titration. Simply put, the smoker’s brain knows the exact nicotine dose needed and will set off behavioural mechanisms adapted to the situation to achieve satisfaction. As such, you will not smoke in the same way depending on the time of day, stress level, type of cigarette used, etc.
With e-cigarettes, the self-titration principle remains the same, but with the fundamental difference that the nicotine contained in e-liquids for e-cigarettes does not reach the brain as quickly as with tobacco cigarettes. Furthermore, the nicotine contained in traditional cigarettes is boosted by complex chemical reactions resulting from combustion and the specific processing of tobacco in the factory. As a result, smokers starting to vape will need to adapt their behaviour to obtain satisfactory nicotine doses for their smoker’s brain.
Vape more slowly and more often
In order to vape correctly, you first of all need to ensure that your e-cigarette is getting the right amount of e-liquid. Otherwise, you run the risk of a very unpleasant dry hit, which could cause abnormal production of acrolein or formaldehyde. Rest assured that the human body detects these substances very quickly, the vapour will have a harsh, dry and pungent – in other words, intolerable – mouth feel.
Secondly, you will also need to pay attention to the settings on your device if it offers specific set-up options (voltage or power variation, for example). Also take care not to overheat your resistance coil unnecessarily, otherwise you may encourage the potential production of abnormally high harmful substances in the vapour. Refer to the user guide to find out the best way to use your device.
Vaping in four steps
How to vape:
- Press the activation button
Once the e-cigarette is in your mouth, press the activation button (known as the switch or fire in the vaping world). Do not press this button if your e-cigarette is not in your mouth. The air flow created when pulling helps cool the resistance coil, and the aim is not to overheat it. The button should only be activated when you start to pull.
- Inhale with your mouth
Inhale with your mouth, as you did with your cigarette, but more lightly and for a longer time.
- Don’t hold vapour in for too long
When you are actually inhaling vapour with your lungs, try not to hold it in for too long, otherwise, you might end up exhaling very little vapour. The lifetime of e-cigarette vapour in air is actually much less than that of cigarette smoke. The visual aspect of smoke may seem incidental, but it is important nonetheless. Just think about smoking a cigarette in the dark, it is not very enjoyable. Seeing the smoke, freshly changed into vapour in our case, is also satisfying for the eyes, and ultimately the brain.
- Space out your puffs
Space out your puffs as much as possible so as not to overheat the resistance coil fitted in your atomizer. On the other hand, don’t be too worried about the number of puffs. It is completely normal for a beginner to be constantly pulling on their e-cigarette.
Nicotine in e-cigarettes
Remember that the nicotine released by an e-cigarette takes longer to enter your bloodstream and does not pack quite the same punch. To achieve the same level of nicotine in the blood, vapers need to vape more often and for a longer time than smokers. Tobacco smoke provides a nicotine boost, which, to an extent, is not obtained with e-cigarettes. Finally, nicotine per se, at the doses administered by smokers or vapers, does not pose any major health risks. It is the chemical compounds produced by burning tobacco which pose very high risks.
Take your time. Giving up tobacco is a real challenge, even with tools as sophisticated as the latest e-cigarettes. If vaping fails to meet your needs, try something else, talk to a healthcare professional. Any method that can help you avoid the harmful effects of cigarettes is worthwhile.